Oct 03, 2008
Not bad company for a 22-year-old Calgary native expected to shoulder the load or at least carry a major part of it for Gee-Gees men's hockey this season.
"It was good to see where you have to take your game," said Whitlock, an OUA All-Rookie Team selection last season. "It would be nice to get there one day."
Whitlock's proving ground off an 11-5 debut - which ended in a second-round playoff sweep against UQTR - is within Gee-Gees iron.
He and fifth-year goaltending platoon-mate Martin Bricault (Cap-Rouge, Que.) will either carry or sink the Gee-Gees over the team's 119th season, which begins Saturday night, 8 p.m. against newfound rival Carleton, a men's program in it's second season after a 33-year break.
uOttawa finished last season 14-12-2 in third-place in the OUA Far East, three points ahead of Carleton.
The Gee-Gees retooled forward lines are fronted by last season's top scorer Dan McDonald (New Liskeard, Ont.), a left wing who had a three-season stop in Kingston among three teams over five OHL seasons, and returning fifth-year team captain Martin Herard (St Ignace de Loyola, Que.), who positively puts the 'g' in grinder.
Gee-Gees third-year defenceman Mathieu Desjardins (Gloucester, Ont.) envisions a leadership role now that his actual vision isn't fuzzy.
Desjardins had an unplanned and unpleasant end to his 2007 season after a two-handed stick found the back of his head in the last game of the regular season. The play left an unconscious shell slumped in a silent rink with a badly broken jaw and concussion that required a brief hospital stay.
"Head is fine, jaw still a little bit sore once in a while," said Desjardins. "Everything seems to be working properly."
Among a healthy stable of recruits is left-winger Matthieu Methot, an Ottawa native formerly of the 67’s, who scored twice for the Gee-Gees in the 0-1-1 pre-season. Methot is just the third player in Gee Gees history to play for both Ottawa OHL and CIS teams.
"We finally have offensive depth," said Gee-Gees head coach Dave Leger. "Are we going to be a good team this year or are we going to do what is necessary to be a great team?"
Source: Gee-Gees Athletics